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December 5, 2014 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
ANAHEIM, Calif. - In the past, when Matt Read went a few games without points, he told himself to rely on fundamentals to break out of the slump. "It's little things," Read said. "Like supporting the puck better, or getting to battles quicker, or moving your feet in certain areas to get open for each other. Time will come. " The only trouble is Read has never been mired in quite as rough a skid as he is currently with the Flyers. He entered last night's game against the Ducks with just four points in his last 17 games - his worst run of 17 games since breaking into the NHL in 2011-12.
SPORTS
December 5, 2014 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
ANAHEIM - Killing time during a television timeout midway through the second period on Wednesday night, Scott Laughton was in an unusual spot on the Honda Center ice. He wasn't at the bench with his teammates. He wasn't slugging a sip of water. Instead, Laughton was near center ice, chatting with a referee. It was a strange scene. Referees don't always have time for players - especially rookies. Respect in the NHL is earned with games played. Whatever the conversation was about - perhaps a deferential Laughton had a question about a particular call or procedure - it seemed to work.
SPORTS
December 4, 2014 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Embarrassed and angry after being forced to sit out as a healthy scratch for the first time at any level of hockey, Vinny Lecavalier did his best to bite his tongue yesterday. Lecavalier, 34, is only a quarter of the way through the second season of a seemingly interminable 5-year deal. Asked if he agreed with coach Craig Berube's decision, Lecavalier said: "I'm not going to start arguing. It's his decision. " It's no secret the Flyers tried to move Lecavalier last summer.
SPORTS
December 4, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The Flyers' road misery continued Tuesday night, this time at the SAP Center. San Jose registered a stunning 2-1 win when Matt Nieto scored on a rebound with 11.5 seconds left after the Sharks' Tommy Wingels and Braydon Coburn collided with goalie Steve Mason. The goal handed the Flyers their eighth straight road loss (0-7-1). That's the longest they have gone without a road win since an 0-7-2 streak in 1999. Sean Couturier scored his first goal in 11 games - appeasing Flyers chairman Ed Snider, who pleaded for some secondary scoring the other day - and rookie Scott Laughton recorded the first point of his NHL career.
SPORTS
December 4, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Trying to wake up his floundering team, Flyers coach Craig Berube continued a recent pattern of benching some of his healthy regulars. For Tuesday's game in San Jose, Berube benched Michael Del Zotto - who has struggled lately, but was arguably the team's best defenseman in the season's first month - and veteran Vinny Lecavalier, a 405-goal scorer who will get strong Hall of Fame consideration when his career ends. In recent games, Berube also has benched Luke Schenn twice, Andrew MacDonald, and Pierre-Eduoard Bellemare.
SPORTS
December 4, 2014 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
SAN JOSE - Even with the walls crumbling around the Flyers' locker room, Michael Del Zotto arrived for the morning skate yesterday like any other. Last week, Luke Schenn and $30 million man Andrew MacDonald were scratched from the lineup. Del Zotto didn't think he would be next. It was only about 2 weeks ago that coach Craig Berube said Del Zotto was his most consistent blue liner through the first 2 months of the season. Seated next to Vinny Lecavalier in the press box last night, Del Zotto's surprising benching was proof again that no player is immune from accountability in the eyes of a coach desperate to shake his team from the doldrums.
SPORTS
December 3, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The Flyers' 1-7-1 funk is their worst stretch since they started 1-7 last season, when they recovered and went a commendable 41-23-10 the rest of the way. "We had a week off last year after the bad start and then had a couple practices and got in a little better shape and started outskating teams," right winger Jake Voracek said the other day. "I think that's what we're missing now. We're slower everywhere in the battles, in...
SPORTS
December 3, 2014 | BY FRANK SERAVALLI, Daily News Staff Writer seravaf@phillynews.com
SAN JOSE - Vinny Lecavalier had trouble sleeping on Sunday night - and it had little to do with the 3-hour time difference on the West Coast. That's because the Flyers' coaching staff notified him then that he'd be out of the lineup tonight against the Sharks. The fact that Lecavalier would be a healthy scratch for the first time in his illustrious career really hit him yesterday, though, when he saw his name penciled next to injured player Ryan White on the fifth line for practice at SAP Center.
SPORTS
December 3, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Flyers cofounder Ed Snider is miffed by his team's lack of secondary scoring. "Never seen anything like it in all the years I've been in hockey," Snider said in a telephone interview from his Montecito, Calif., home on Monday afternoon. "Even when we were an expansion team" in 1967-68, "somebody chipped in here and there. " In their last nine games, the Flyers have gotten just two goals from forwards who were not on their first line. The lack of secondary scoring helps explain why they are in a 1-7-1 slump and have fallen to sixth place in the eight-team Metropolitan Division.
SPORTS
December 2, 2014 | By Sam Carchidi, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Flyers, fading fast in the Metropolitan Division, are getting ready to start their only California trip of the season, and some of the players think it's coming at a perfect time. "It's going to be our most important trip of the season," said high-scoring winger Jake Voracek, whose team has lost eight of its last nine games. "Last year, one of the reasons we made the playoffs is because we were successful on that road trip, and I don't see a reason why we shouldn't do the same thing.
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